07 Sep The Power of a Personal Mentor
By Paul Barrs.
Let’s make one thing perfectly clear… I have been fortunate, very fortunate. Over my life I’ve had three distinct mentors in business, as well as one more in life. But then if you knew anything about my life, you’d probably say, “Well Paul, that’s because you need it!” And of course I say that with a smile :).
But it’s true, though not only for me, I believe for us all. Let me explain –
When I was 13 years old I’d begun to ‘hang out’ with the wrong crowd and whilst I’d not yet gotten into any ‘specific’ trouble I was walking the boundaries closely and skipping over that legal line time and time again.
After about eighteen months of this, things were getting pretty serious when I met a man who led the work at an Inner City Youth Theater – has asked me to be a part of a new project that was coming. Being full of pride (as most teenage boys are) I agreed. The interesting thing was, I also had fun doing it. Following, he asked me to participate in ‘another’ project, and then another and so on. Over the next 7 years I worked on dozens of projects with this man in three different countries. We still keep in touch from time to time now.
When I was in my mid-thirties I asked him, “Tell me, why did you put up with all the crap that I gave you during those years?”
His reply was simple – “Because I could see that you were troubled, and I knew I could help.”
His impact in my life was immeasurable. Years after I’d finished working with him I asked of my Mother, “Mum, why did you let me travel so far when I was so young.”
She answered easily, “Because you were good at it, and it was legal.”
The purpose that this man brought into my life has guided it ever since.
Years later, difficulty came my way again in the form of illness, my wife at the time was bed-ridden sick. Shortly after these years, I met my first business mentor. He was a self made millionaire who, on a good week, earned around $30K before he’d even got out of bed. Yes, he was a good man to be mentored by.
And so, at the time, he made me his shadow – for a full year – each day I spent whatever time was required to sit with him, learn from him and *watch* with him the way he conducted his business. In a sense he “taught me everything that he knew”.
So then, there’s a good question: If he taught me everything that he knew, WHY wasn’t I also making my millions? Easy answer: I wasn’t ready. However, I did increase my personal earning income by about 600% that year!
Some time later, just as the Internet was starting to come about I made contact with another fellow (this time in the US) who was already successful Online and he agreed to ‘mentor’ me (All of this was before the days of private access sites and personal coaching programs).
Over a period of three years this guy showed me how to take my online income from $14K a year to $96K. When you think about it, that’s not bad for three years work. The following year I steadily on track for about $230K when…
…illness struck again., This time, me.
That was four years ago.
Now, here is a good question, “Considering how fortunate I had been in the past with mentors, do you think I should have one again?”
Easy answer – Yes!
And so, when I first came back online I went to a few seminars and posted a few notes up on message boards until I found one. But like I said, I’ve been fortunate – he actually found me.
You see, many things had changed over those four years, not particularly the strategies of what we do, but the tools that we used – and the Internet world became suddenly foreign. By my new friend (who was actually an old friend) sat me down one morning and took me by the hand – he walked me step by step through what I needed to do and where I needed to go.
Within ten days I’d turned over my first dozen sales!
And so the question prevails…”Do *I* need a mentor?” Yes. I’d like to say that I’m one of those “gurus” out there who can just think it up all by himself and never require any help, but that would be pride speaking, Of course I need a mentor. I’d be a fool to say no.
So let me ask you this… do *you* need a mentor? Perhaps. Maybe. Most likely.
I’d say yes!